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The importance of U.S. Geological Survey water-quality super gages

April 27, 2020

Super gages are an important tool providing real-time, continuous water-quality data at streamgages or groundwater wells. They are designed to address specific water-resource threats such as water-related human health issues including harmful algal blooms, floods, droughts, and hazardous substance spills. In addition, super gages improve our understanding of the effects land-use practices have on critical water resources. Super gage data allow the development of surrogates, a continuous in-stream sensor measurement used to estimate something of greater interest to environmental managers, to be modeled and reported in near real-time concentrations and loads. This fact sheet presents some of the ways water-quality data from a USGS super gage network benefits all of us.